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Govt’s efforts on balanced and sound education development

Updated: Aug 8,2016 4:36 PM

Premier Li Keqiang visits poverty-affected Wang Baojin’s family in Banzigou village of Xiji county in Guyuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region on Feb 1, 2016. During the visit, Premier Li expressed his concerns for children’s education and encouraged them to study hard.

In the first half of this year, the State Council issued a series of policies to guarantee education for vulnerable children, provide fiscal support for balanced education development, and crack down on arbitrary educational charges.

Following the State Council executive meeting on June 1, the cabinet released opinions to enhance an education guarantee for vulnerable children. The opinions stated that supporting polices should be in place to exempt tuition and book charges for children from poor families and 12-year free education from primary to high schools should be offered to disabled children with financial difficulties. The compulsory education of rural migrants’ children and immigrated children of permanent residents should be planned and supported by local governments.

In May, the General Office of the State Council issued opinions to strengthen sport education and promote students’ comprehensive physical and mental growth. The opinions stressed time guarantee for gym classes and suggested that PE classes should be increased if local conditions allow in primary and middle schools.

The guideline to accelerate education in central and western regions issued by the General Office of the State Council in May stated that balanced compulsory education will cover 95 percent counties in the region by 2020.

In March the Ministry of Education released a circular on enrollment of students from rural and poverty areas by key universities in 2016, with plans to enroll 60,000 such students, 10,000 more than 2015. The general office of the ministry also issued a notice on free bachelor’s degrees for medical students under central fiscal support for central and western villages in 2016. According to the notice, 5,450 five-year medical students will be trained for health centers in the regions.

According to information from the Ministry of Finance in May, the central government allocated 134.5 billion yuan (around $20.2 billion) in subsidies for urban and rural compulsory education, 3 percent higher than 2015.

In June, the Ministry of Education and other three ministries issued opinions to crack down on arbitrary educational charges in 2016 to regulate education fees and fight against unauthorized charges. Enrollment examination in compulsory education and paid tutoring by teachers are not allowed, the opinions stated.